“But why isn’t it in print,” and “I want to be on the front cover of The New York Times” are phrases commonly tossed in the faces of communications professionals, often after sharing an amazing online placement with the client.
While we understand the thrill of seeing your business’ name on the front page of the business section in a national newspaper, your target audience isn’t necessarily reading the hard copy of this outlet.
The New York Times recently announced the restructuring of its newsroom to a centralized desk responsible for putting out the daily print edition. It went further to release a mission statement highlighting a new era and organizational focus around – you guessed it – digital delivery and the role of mobile to engage readers 1:1.
Even print acknowledges print isn’t relevant anymore.
So, what does this mean for communications professionals, brands and the media industry?
Accept that success does not mean a print placement. Just stop. Instead, think about how well your story will play out online, especially on mobile devices. Think simple visuals, quick data points, and tips. What is the tension in your story, why will people care and will it get them talking and interacting with your brand and each other. What will it make people feel.
Brace yourself. This shift by The New York Times is likely just the beginning. One of the first publications to embrace digital, it’s a trend-setting publication. Expect to see more outlets reassess its internal structure and try new things, especially as they see how it works out for NYT.
Consider new ways to pitch print desks. A centralized, separate desk means you may have to approach your pitch differently. Will you be taking your story to two people at the publication? Should you be focusing on different things based on whether you are pitching print vs digital. And, what types of stories may be worth really pushing a “front page” print story vs a digital story. It’ll likely be a learning curve for communicators and the publications adopting a new structure.
If you’re one of the luddites desperately clinging to the desire to secure a print feature as a key metric, it’s time to get with The New York Times and let’s get digital.